Reviews from Past Volunteers

Reviews from Past Volunteers (222)

Lahav at the Soup Kitchen

Inside the soup kitchen

Volunteering every day at the soup kitchen is a great way to get to know the community and the atmosphere at the neighborhood. Last week I had a couple of great volunteering experiences, very authentic and real that made me feel very happy with my participation at the project – exactly because it made me feel like I’m getting to know the project and the neighborhood much better.  In one of the days, a big truck, full of boxes of food arrived. I discovered that the cooks at the soup kitchen are a part of a cooperative which helps them buy large quantities of food for their families in discount prices. It was great to see who everyone helped each other in organizing all the food inside the kitchen. The cooks and their helpers lined spontaneously in a row, starting outside the street near the truck and going towered the room inside were they organized all the boxes. The boxes moved from one hand to another and they finished the unpacking quickly. Every one helped to unpack the truck and the cooperation between all was perfect. They all were very cheerful and happy to see that they work so good together.

A day after, there was a fire drill at the project, it was also great to take part of it and to see how amazing all the cooks and everyone else were during the drill. They helped the kids go out from the class to the street and once again I was lucky to see the perfect cooperation between all. Of course the kids relate to the drill as a game and they were so happy with the excitement of it. Maybe because the cooks and the helpers, although taking the drill seriously, were so great with the kids so the kids were just very happy to get outside for a couple of minutes.  I sow how everyone at the project cares so much for the kids and it made me realize that they are in good and amazing hands that look after them so much.

These experiences made me realize how great the cooks and everyone else at the project are, so caring, so cooperative; they are all true community leaders. realizing that made my volunteering become much more authentic – I was not just helping in the kitchen, but, for a couple of weeks, I was also part of the community. And that is something you cannot experience unless you volunteer, especially in such well operated organization like Voluntario Global who makes sure to send you to great projects, were everyone take care of you like you are truly a part of the community.

And one more thing, last week I also understand how strong the women at the soup kitchen are – not physically, although you need some of that when working every day at the soup kitchen… but mentally. In their minds and heart they are so strong. They know how to join forces in a cooperative in order to organized food for themselves and their families, to manage a fire drill perfectly and to make a volunteer feel so good with his stay at the soup kitchen. You realize that when spending a couple of weeks with them at the kitchen. They are really so strong and inspiring women.

 I can believe that this week my three weeks of volunteering will end, so soon… I really recommend, if you like cooking, like kids and want to experience Buenos Aires not just as a tourist, to come to the soup kitchen. If I could, I would have stayed much more than three weeks, maybe you would want too…     

Check out the social dancing scene - Bachata

I was feeling a bit homesick this week so I decided to venture out into the Bachata community first. I knew that finding people who loved dancing this dance as much as I do would make me feel more connected to home.

 I think that a good way to gage how active a dance community is in a particular place is to attend a class (if you are able to). Since I have some experience in this particular dance style, I also wanted to see how and what instructors were teaching in their classes. The hope was also that they could tell me where they go out social dancing.

 I attended two classes this week; the first was on Monday night at Bailá BA! which is located in San Telmo. I got there in time for the warm up and instantly got this huge smile on my face when I recognized the steps that were being shown. The class was advertised as being for all levels but there weren’t any beginners, from what I could see. We did a pattern with a pendulum hand toss for the follow and body rolls. The music played in class was popular in the congresses I’m used to attending so all in all, I left the class feeling like I had learned a lot and excited to go out social dancing. In addition, I made a new friend in class! Her name is Jesica and she started dancing because she also teaches Zumba. I left the class that night with the familiar comforting feeling I have after a good night of dance. 

 The second class I attended was a class for female styling in Bachata on Wednesday at Full Dance. Although there were only two other girls there with me, these are my favorite types of classes because they allow for each person to add their own flavor to the choreography being taught. Our teacher incorporated a lot of classical spinning techniques in our warm up and a lot of modern footwork and hand styling (like La Alemana) in the routine. It was a perfect mix of old and new in the dominican dance. Afterwards, I felt empowered and really sure of myself. The girls in the class let me know that they like to go to Azucar for Bachata dancing on Friday nights.

 Just like that, I felt included. If social dancing Bachata is like it is in Europe and North America, I won’t feel alone when I finally do go out and check out the social dancing scene.

 

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VOLUNTARIO GLOBAL

Voluntario Global helps local communities by being available to discuss anything that local organizations need, and offering ideas for further change and development.
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Location: General Pacheco. Buenos Aires. Argentina
Email: jfranco@voluntarioglobal.org

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